Flipping real estate properties is not for everyone but it is the fastest way to make a buck in the real estate business. Most everyone has heard of someone buying a "run down" house for a good price well below market value, fixing it up and selling it at a fair market price. Flipping a "fixer-upper" is definitely one way to turn a reasonably quick profit. I know some people who do it this way but they are more into the contractor and renovation business than they are of the investor mindset.
Some of these "fixer-upper" properties are in need of extensive repair and will involve electrical work, carpentry work, etc. If the investor gets involved and does some or all of this work then there could be enough profit there but if the investor farms out the required labor, profits could get eaten up quickly. For these types of flipping real estate investments, the purchase price needs to be at a huge discount and normally would have been somewhere in the foreclosure stage.
For the person that is in the mindset of investing rather than being in the renovation business then flipping real estate will only involve flipping the paper contract of the property without even taking possession of it. You can flip by entering an agreement to buy a property then sell the contract to another investor before close of escrow.
Using this technique will not even require you to put your name on the title. Profits will generally be less than the fixer-upper investor but involves much less work and the whole process is much quicker. A fixer-upper investor would not be happy in making a profit of a few thousand dollars for a few months work on renovations but an investor that can just flip a contract for a few hours or days work would be.
Avoid disclosure of your profits to the new buyer by using a double closing.
After making a sweet deal and flipping a contract involving a juicy profit you may not want all these details to be disclosed to your buyer. The solution is a double closing, transferring the property to you initially and then reselling immediately at the same lawyer's office just an hour later to your buyer.
There is a drawback here and that is a double set of closing costs so you would have to weigh it out to see if it's worth it to your particular situation or not. Further, you can use a title insurance company for the actual closings. For the issuance of the title insurance policy, the title insurance company will prepare the closing documents and close the transaction usually without an additional charge.